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In their new Mayfield Kentucky plant, Marlin is setting the state to redefine the bolt-action 22 rifle. This debut series, dubbed the XT-22, has all the makings of a rimfire legend.

Design of the XT22

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Taking the New Haven produced 2004-2010 eras Marlin 925 as a starting point, the company made several improvements and the XT22 was born. The firearm comes in at 5.5 pounds unloaded which means you can put a decent set of optics, nice rings, a strap, and camowrap on it for heavy use in the woods and still be under 7-pounds. A Pro-Fire adjustable trigger adds a level of accuracy in this rimfire rifle that's hard to beat. It can be adjusted from 3-6 pounds and has very little creep.

Nothing but features

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The stocks have a palm swell, a full pistol grip, molded in swivels, and stippled grip areas. It's available with either a 4/7/10-shot detachable box mag. Versions with a tubular magazine holds 25 Short, 19 Long, or 17 LR rounds. Other features include an adjustable rear sight with a ramped front sight, a thumb safety, and a red cocking indicator. The receiver is grooved for a scope mount and drilled & tapped for scope bases. Ordnance grade steel 22" microgrooved barrels with a 1:16 twist are pretty much standard on this series.

Besides .22LR, there are versions available in .17HMR (dubbed the XT17) and 22WMR.

Speaking of models...

Models Models Models

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The grooviest thing about the XT22 series is in the sheer number of models offered. By perusing their website, you see that no less than 15 versions are in current production. There is a heavy varmint rifle version for the woodchuck assassins. There is a benchrest version with a recessed muzzle crown. There is one with a threaded barrel for those who like quiet time. There are subvariants in stainless or blued, polymer or wood.

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All youth models have a 12-inch length of pull, which makes them ideal for training models. Kids are going to want to shoot if the rifle is 'just right' and they do not have to reach and stretch to make it happen. These guns are also ideal for small statured adults. For instance, my 4'9" 61-year old mom shoots a youth model 22LR -- and does it with a huge grin.

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These things are just plain out accurate.

These guns, scarcely introduced but a year ago, are fast sellers but the price is right. While some big box stores sell basic models for $230 or so, this can often be beat online . You are even seeing some used examples showing up for slightly less.

And if the past year is any indicator, the future looks bright for the XT
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